LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said Monday he has reinstated junior forward Chane Behanan to the team, and that he will be available to play in Tuesday's home game against Hofstra.
Behanan was suspended on Oct. 17 for violations that Pitino would not disclose, but which involved both the university and athletic program. Pitino at the time called Behanan's return "possible, not probable."
When Behanan ran into WDRB's Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich in a Starbucks four days later, on Oct. 21, Behanan said he was "positive" he would earn his way back. When Bozich asked him why he'd been suspended, Behanan would only answer, "things happened."
Now this has happened. Pitino returned Behanan to practice with his teammates on Friday. And he told the media in his regular Monday news conference that Behanan will be available to play Tuesday. Behanan made the all-tournament team at the Final Four when the Cards won the NCAA title last April.
"I had a target of 30 straight days doing the right things," Pitino said. ". . . It went 30 great days. It surprised the heck out of me."
Especially since it has only been 25 days since the suspension was announced, counting today. And Pitino said Behanan had violated a couple of stipulations of the suspension in the days prior to that announcement.
Nonetheless, Behanan will bring more depth to a frontcourt that rebounded well after a slow start in its season opener against College of Charleston. His presence will lighten a bit of the load on sophomore Montrezl Harrell and will give the Cardinals a bit of a hedge against foul trouble.
It also will give the team more of a rebounding presence.
Behanan was in attendance at Saturday's opener but was in street clothes. Pitino told reporters that he was telling them that Behanan could play before giving the news to the player.
Pitino also announced Monday that forward Luke Hancock, a senior who was the Most Outstanding Player of last season's Final Four, also is making a full return to practice and will be available for Tuesday night's game.
Hancock has been slow returning from an injury to his Achilles' and left ankle.
MORE TO COME ON TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM PITINO on WDRB.com and WDRB's News at 10.
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